Br1, April 16, 2013 (view all comments by Br1)
This book is really good, and full of paranormal goodies. The main character is very pink and girlie, but is still able to come off as real and not fake or superficial.
grrlpup, March 24, 2012 (view all comments by grrlpup)
I picked up this book and within the first few pages I knew I'd found a good read. The quality of the writing made all the difference-- snappy, but not brittle. There's more going on than just flipness and sass: the main character had teenage attitude, but there was a real person behind it. The romance was sweet and wholesome, and there were enough plot twists to keep the story from getting predictable (until the very ending, which I didn't think held many surprises). I especially liked Evie questioning things she'd been brought up with, and coming to her own conclusions that had room for nuance. The weakest element was probably the fairy antagonists, who were fairly stock characters if you've read even a little urban fantasy. But five stars anyway, for a thoroughly pleasurable reading experience.
The Eager Readers, September 17, 2010 (view all comments by The Eager Readers)
Kiersten White's Paranormalcy is a fast-paced fantasy with a sweet and charming heroine, an entertaining assortment of paranormal characters, and a suspenseful mystery. Evie's work for the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency) has made her day to day life anything but normal, and she longs for a typical teenage life with all its novelties - like high school lockers and prom. Then one day she meets Lend, a teenage shapeshifter who catches her eye, and some of that normalcy suddenly feels like it might be within her reach. But there is a mysterious threat brewing. Someone is murdering paranormal creatures and if IPCA can't figure out who is behind these crimes, there may not be any paranormals left to police. Evie must figure out who to trust and uncover details from her own past in order to stop the killer before they strike again. I thoroughly enjoyed Paranormalcy and look forward to reading the second book in this trilogy, Supernaturally, next autumn.
What I Liked:
- The humor! Evie is very amusing. She is a fashion savvy girly-girl who loves makeup, shopping, and watching her favorite teen television drama. Of course, she also spends her days taking down vamps, hags, and werewolves with Tasey, her handy rhinestone-encrusted Taser, so she isn't exactly your typical girl next door. Think Legally Blonde meets Men in Black.
- Lend is a likable guy who doesn't have an ounce of 'bad boy' attitude, which is refreshing in a paranormal romance. He has a unique shape-shifting ability that gives him an interesting edge, and I'm really curious to see what the next two books have in store for him.
- The romantic elements in this book are light and flirty rather than dark and angsty or smoldering and racy. Evie and Lend are both outsiders who have grown up surrounded by paranormals and humans but have never fully fit in with either group. They are instantly intrigued by each other, and it is quite sweet that they are able to see and accept each other for who they truly are. Their chemistry is of the blushing and inexperienced variety, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to younger YA readers or even MG readers.
- I was drawn in my the mystery in this book right away, and it kept me guessing chapter after chapter. There is still plenty to be explored in the second book, but I was happy to find that Paranormalcy doesn't end with a frustratingly suspenseful cliff-hanger.
- Evie was brought in to work with IPCA at a very young age, so her supervisor Raquel and best friend Lish are the closest things she has to a family, and I liked seeing that aspect of the story explored. Lend also has an unusual family situation, and I loved the way his family was involved in the story. Kind, supportive parents are fairly rare in YA novels, so it is really nice to see a parent like that pop up occasionally.
- The IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency) reminded me a little of Men In Black. They are a top secret agency responsible for monitoring and containing paranormal individuals around the world, and they employ several paranormals to help them get that job done. I liked their high tech, sterile command center and Lish's nifty control room, and I especially liked that they weren't necessarily beyond reproach. I enjoy seeing the gray area between the good guys and the bad guys, and this book touched on that concept a little. I hope we will see that gray area explored even more in the second and third books of the trilogy.
- I liked that Reth, who used to be one of Evie's closest companions, provided tension within Evie's relationship with Lend without ever actually seeming like a rival for her affections. There is not a love triangle in this book, but Reth does have something to offer Evie that only he has ever made her feel.
- I loved reading Lish's monotone computer voice aloud because it made her dialogue so charming and funny. I also loved Raquel's expressive sighs and all of their very specific meanings.
What I Wished:
- The one element that wore a bit thin for me was the way Reth repeatedly popped up and disappeared at key moments throughout the story. After a few of those instances, the lack of answers from him and the way the other characters seemed able to put him out of their minds to focus on other mundane things (like homework, prom, and tv shows) started to grate on my nerves and to feel like a slightly-too-convenient plot device to drag out the mystery.
- There were a couple of moments in which Evie seemed to swing from bursting into tears to feeling giddy with happiness a bit too quickly, particularly in the days following one very sad incident. I felt like I was more depressed than Evie regarding that incident, which was a little odd.
If you like humorous YA fantasies like Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall or sweet, innocent YA romances like Aprilynne Pike's Wings, you will want to pick up Paranormalcy. If you like mysterious urban fantasies with a variety of paranormal creatures and a heroine who has been kept in the dark about her origins like The Mortal Instruments, then you may want to pick up Paranormalcy. This second book in this trilogy, Supernaturally, is set for publication next September, and I will definitely be picking up a copy.
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Harper Teen -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"First-time author White shows the technique and polish of a pro in this absorbing romance, which comes closer than most to hitting the Buffy mark. Evie, 16, works for the IPCA, an organization charged with keeping paranormal beings under control. Evie is the only human who can see through any glamour, and she's an expert at 'bag and tag'--stun the target, slap on a tracking bracelet, and send it on for processing. It's a dull, regimented, and sequestered life from Evie's point of view, and she longs for normal things like a school locker and a driver's license. When a shape-shifter, Lend, is captured, Evie is drawn to this boy her own age who has lived in the normal world. Lend tells her uncomfortable truths about herself, but shares his secrets, too, and when Evie's certainties suddenly and terribly break down, Lend becomes the person she can count on. The action is fast; fun and fear are in abundance; and Lend's father is actually a cool grownup. How's that for supernatural? Ages 12 — up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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